An Uncomfortable Journey

Dear Evanston journeys by bus 

to the EJI's Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice

in Montgomery, Alabama

To confront the past and commit to challenging racial injustice today.

From Friday, September 13 to Sunday, September 15, 2019  


--In partnership with: Evanston Cradle to Career/Advocates4Action;

Leadership Evanston/Evanston Community Foundation; NAACP Evanston North Shore--

You must be 18 or older and live or work in Evanston to be eligible for this trip.


Cost: $300 all-included: round-trip bus fare, one night hotel stay (based on double-occupancy*), meals**, and Museum & Memorial entrance fee.

NOTE: *Participants will be responsible for their own Friday dinner prior to boarding the bus--or bringing it on board. Participants will also be responsible for purchasing dinner on the road on Sunday on our return to Evanston.

**Participants who choose to stay in a single-occupancy room are responsible for the additional costs incurred. You may also discuss reducing room costs by requesting triple occupancy (see below).


Registration is open!

Will you join us on our journey?

You MUST place a deposit NO LATER than July 22

You MUST have paid in full by NO LATER than August 9

Payments are transferrable but non-refundable

Click here to purchase your ticket.

Scholarships are available. If you need financial assistance or for more information,

email us here.

 (please note that some specifics are subject to change as planning progresses)



  • We'll take a maximum of two buses, that’s 110 Evanstonians.

  • All participants will meet at the ETHS back parking lot at 5:15 p.m. to begin boarding buses.

  • Buses will leave promptly at 6:15 p.m.

  • Participants will be assigned to buses, but there will be no assigned seats. First come, first served.  

  • We'll return to the ETHS parking lot at midnight on Sunday, September 15

  • Buses are luxury, equipped with wi-fi, outlets, AC, bathroom, microphone, radio, and drop-down TVs.


Consider taking a cab, Lyft, Uber or getting a ride to ETHS so that you don’t have to leave your car parked there over the weekend.

ETHS and DE are not responsible for any damage to vehicles parked in the lot for the weekend.




  • We'll sleep at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Montgomery, which is a close .2-mile walk from the museum and memorial.

  • The cost of your ticket assumes a double-occupancy room. If you need to be matched with a roommate, please note that on your sign-up form.

  • Room options are: Standard King Suite (1 bed) and Standard Double Suite (2 beds). Both suite types have a sofa sleeper, and two televisions.

  • If you choose to stay in a single-occupancy room, you are responsible for additional costs incurred:

  • Single room pricing raises your all-inclusive ticket cost to $389 per person.

  • Triple pricing would reduce your all-inclusive ticket cost to $269 per person, and Quad pricing to $254 per person.



  • Must be 18 and up  

  • Must live or work in Evanston

  • Must take health into consideration due to the taxing nature of the trip. Please note that we hope this is the first of many Evanston trips to the museum and memorial and will consider future trips for people who are unable to participate on a bus journey.

  • Must commit to participating in at least one pre-trip and one post-trip activity: pre-trip activities are scheduled for Thursday, September 5 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. OR  Sunday, September 8 from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Must agree to read and view selected materials and videos to prepare for the journey.  

  • In order to maintain the integrity of this trip as a communal experience, participants are expected to journey to and from Montgomery on our buses and to not extend their stay or make private travel arrangements.









Friday, September 13

5:15 p.m.        Participants meet at ETHS back parking lot

6:15 p.m.        Buses depart


            During the bus ride, we will hear from community members and leaders working on issues of racial equity in Evanston.

            There will be three short rest stops.

Saturday, September 14

9:00 a.m.        Arrive at Embassy Suites

We will have the opportunity to unload our luggage and use the lobby restrooms to refresh ourselves and take some time to recuperate from the long ride.


Noon        We will gather as a group and head to the museum and memorial.

                   Half our group will visit the memorial first; half will visit the museum.

The museum and memorial are about .7 miles apart. A shuttle service runs every 20 minutes and times are listed at each site. Both the Museum and Memorial are self-guided experiences. Visitors spend two to four hours on average at the Museum. Visitors spend one to 1.5 hours on average at the Memorial.


All participants will receive a box lunch to take along.


6:30 p.m.      We will meet in the hotel to board buses and head to dinner.   


9 p.m.      Buses will return us back to the hotel.

Sunday, September 15


6:15 a.m. Participants will meet at buses to load luggage and board.

8 a.m.      Leave Montgomery

9 a.m.      Arrive in Selma

We will hear from a speaker and then cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge together

10 a.m.     Board buses and head back too Evanston.


After Midnight        Arrive ETHS





Dinner: Participants will be responsible for eating dinner prior to boarding buses or bringing their food to eat on the bus.



Breakfast: We will eat breakfast on the bus courtesy of donations from local Evanston restaurants

Lunch: Participants will receive a boxed lunch to take along to the museum and memorial

Happy hour: Embassy Suites offers complimentary light refreshments and drinks from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (alcohol for participants 21 and older)

Dinner: We’ll enjoy a local meal together at Fried Tomato Buffet in Montgomery 



Breakfast: We’ll eat breakfast at the hotel before departing for Evanston

Lunch: Participants will each receive a boxed lunch from a Montgomery restaurant

Dinner: We’ll eat on the bus. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase their own meals during a rest stop.


 There will be one mandatory pre-trip meeting.

Choose either Thursday, September 5 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. OR  Sunday, September 8 from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Time permitting, we will add a second optional pre-trip gathering.



If you’d like to sponsor—in part or in full—a rider who would otherwise not be able to participate in the journey, please donate to our GoFundMe.

Donations of $250 and above are tax deductible.


Why buses?


Evanston residents will join together in community on a bus journey through the night from Evanston to Montgomery, a one-night stay at a hotel, and a daytime bus ride back home.


While our buses will be luxurious, our journey will be uncomfortable:


Together, we’ll experience a real journey, a passage, and odyssey. We'll confront difficult truths and engage in tough conversations. 


We chose to travel by bus for three reasons:


1. To make the trip financially accessible to Evanstonians of all income levels;


2. For it's symbolism: it’s a nod to Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist who refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and whose defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and to the Freedom Riders, the civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern US in 1961 and subsequent years to challenge the non-enforcement of the United States Supreme Court decisions Morgan v. Virginia (1946) and Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which ruled that segregated public buses were unconstitutional.

3. And because a long round-trip bus ride provides the opportunity for us to get to know one another, connect with one another, go through the experience together as we see towns and fields and history through our windows close-up instead of flying 30,000 feet above the earth--and seeing our country from a distance.


About our destination ...


The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is situated on a site in Montgomery where enslaved people were once warehoused. The museum opened to the public last April and is located a block from one of the most prominent slave auction spaces in America and steps away from an Alabama dock and rail station where tens of thousands of black people were trafficked during the 19th century.


The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which also opened to the public last April, is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.


In addition to visiting the museum and memorial, we will stop in Selma, Alabama to walk together over the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge.

On March 7, 1965, a group of about 600 began a march from Selma to Montgomery, led by future Congressman John Lewis and Hosea Williams, to demand and end to discrimination in voter registration. They left from Brown Chapel AME Church for the 50-mile march. At the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state and local troopers attacked the marchers with billy clubs and tear gas, driving them back to Selma.


About the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)

EJI challenges racial and economic injustice and provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in jails and prisons. Founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and bestselling author of Just Mercy, EJI is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

“There is no path to justice that is only comfortable and convenient. We will not create justice until we’re

willing to sometimes position ourselves in uncomfortable places and be a witness.”

 - Bryan Stevenson, Founder

Equal Justice Initiative and Legacy Museum and Memorial

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